Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson | Teen Ink

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

December 16, 2009
By Shannon M BRONZE, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Shannon M BRONZE, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Imagine starting freshman year in high school with no friends and a horrible memory implanted in your brain forever. That’s exactly what Melinda Sordino went through in Speak, a novel full of loss and depression, but also a message that author Laurie Halse Anderson wants us to know. A message that speaks for itself: have a voice.

In Speak, the story is set in present day Syracuse, New York, which happens to be Laurie Halse Anderson’s hometown. Anderson writes the thoughts of Melinda Sordino, an outcast and somewhat mute teen who has recently been cut off from the rest of the world. Why? No one bothers to listen her, not even the girls she used to call her best friends. Melinda struggles through school and her grades plummet, her own voice fades away.The story about how she busted the end of school party and caused many students to be arrested for drinking spread across Merryweather High. Little did they know the real story of of why Melinda called the police. Maybe if they knew that on that night, something shocking happened to Melinda, something that caused to her to be so hushed, they’d treat her differently.

The character of Melinda isn’t the average protagonist. You’ll never forget Melinda and her quirky personality nor the journey she shares with you as she begins to open up. That’s what makes Speak one of the most unique fictional novels out there. The fact that the entire story is written in her thoughts, similar to a diary, is distinctive and very compelling. You know exactly what she’s thinking, so its hard to get lost. However, you never know whats going to happen in Melinda’s mind.

If you’re looking for a breathtaking, hard to put down, quick read, choose Speak. Anderson creates this one of a kind novel with care and deep emotions which makes Speak so irrisistable. I recommend this book to teen girls. I believe we understand what Melinda is going through and we feel compassion for her more than any other group of people. She might not speak to others, but she’ll always speak to you.

"You have to know what you stand for, not just what you stand against."

Laurie Halse Anderson Speak

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